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Water ATMs, a coin-operated machine that sells a litre of clean drinking water for two rupees, has been installed in Kolkata. The water ATM is part of a pilot for a government project to put up such ATMs in rural areas.

The water ATM has been installed at Ekdalia Park in South Kolkata.

In summer we feel very thirsty and we cannot carry so much water. But here we can pay just Rs 2 and even share a bottle of mineral water, said a homemaker.

Water ATMs have already been around in Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. But the big difference in Bengal is the focus on rural areas. The German made machines would make sure the water is fluoride and arsenic free, a basic necessity which is often a luxury for many.

Minister for Public Health Engineering Subrata Mukherjee said, 70% of medical suffering is due to bad water or contaminated water. We want everyone to get the best quality of water. This scheme is mainly for the rural people. But for the pilot project, to create awareness, we are starting with 50 units.